Cooking Without the Cow

I have a dairy allergy. I digest it well enough but it gives me a headache, which is not fun. I do use a little butter, especially in baking, because margarine scares me. Cheese is such a prevalent ingredient in even vegetarian offerings that I have had to experiment with different dishes to come up with some staples that will work for my family. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Winding down the cool-weather recipes (Chicken with Rice)

Sometime last year, I saw Diana Barrios Treviño, owner of Los Barrios restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, on television and thought, 'this is exactly the style of Mexican food I would like to play around with.' So, I found her recipe book, Los Barrios Family Cookbook and looked through. What fun!

Studiously avoiding the sweets (well, I did peek) I found her version of Arroz con Pollo to be simple enough to meet my low standards and made it my own with some additions and substitutions. I was running late and picked up a rotisserie chicken the other day and boiled the carcass for some lovely, garlicky broth to help cure The Boy's cold (which caused his strange smoothie comments last week) and voilà! (which I don't know how to say in English or Spanish.) Since the weather's starting to get warmer, my dinners will have to become cooler to both fix and eat, so I thought I'd make this before summer really kicks in.

Chicken and Rice ala Ana

¼ cup olive oil
1 cup brown rice
1/3 cup barley
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounces canned tomatoes with jalapeño
3 cups canned or homemade chicken broth
½ cup water
10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, thawed but not drained
4 chicken tenders, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces
salt , hot sauce/crushed pepper and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add rice and barley. Stir fry five minutes or so. Add onion and garlic and stir fry another two minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and water, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the grains are done, about 40 minutes. Add the broccoli, chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Note: you can add the broccoli earlier to make it less assertive, but I like it bright green and tender crisp to contrast with the other ingredients.


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